You’ve got questions about applying to VA? HR specialist Kendra Wilson-Hudson has some valuable answers.

Wilson-Hudson, a physician recruitment consultant with the VA National Recruitment Service, appeared on a recent “Talk About It Tuesday” broadcast to answer some of the top VA application questions that we receive. “Talk About It Tuesday,” a livestream dedicated to discussing VA career opportunities and advice, airs each week at noon ET on our LinkedIn page.

First up: why does the application process take longer than the private sector? Though VA has taken steps to streamline the process, it is still often lengthy due to volume of applications.

“We do know that government jobs are coveted jobs,” Wilson-Hudson explained. “There are a lot of people who are applying to get in.”

HR specialists at VA must review all the applications they receive to determine who is qualified to move on to the next step in the process.

“We want to make sure that we’re taking our time in reviewing those jobs and giving them the attention that they need so that we bring in the best talent to take care of our Veterans,” Wilson-Hudson said.

How to stand out

To get the best chance at an interview, Wilson-Hudson suggested framing yourself as “the unicorn.” “[You] want to be that rare one that floats through to the top,” she said.

Wilson-Hudson recommended using the USAJobs Resume Builder to craft a great resume that highlights your experience and makes your application shine. “Talk about the duties or responsibilities that you held in your job” from your perspective so the HR representative reviewing your application knows what you are capable of, rather than simply what you were expected to do in a previous role.

“Take the time and sell yourself. Don’t sell yourself short, but sell yourself so that people will realize you are the crème de la crème; you are the unicorn in the room; and that you deserve to be at the top and interview for a position,” she said.

Why work for VA?

Wilson-Hudson also took time on “Talk About It Tuesday” to discuss her own VA career. The former Marine said that her favorite aspect of her job is working among fellow Veterans.

“I feel like when I went to work at VA that it was an extension of my service to my country,” she said. “Although my military career had ended, I could still take what I learned in the military and use it serving those who served just like I did.”

Wilson-Hudson started her HR career at VA’s New Orleans Regional Office as an HR assistant in employee labor relations. “I had the opportunity in my role as an assistant to watch and learn and grow in VA,” she said.

Wilson-Hudson has served in every pillar of HR at VA, which includes recruitment and staffing, directing benefits, and in some facilities, managing background checks.

Work at VA

Now that you’re equipped with Wilson-Hudson’s advice, take the next step in your search for a VA career.

By VA Careers

Share this story

Published on Dec. 15, 2021

Estimated reading time is 2.7 min.

Views to date: 1,117


  1. Alison LeMeur January 9, 2022 at 3:13 pm

    To Human Resources

    I am writing to seek clarification regarding GS-9/12 Social Worker position within the HUD-VASH Program working with homeless veterans. All requested procedures, tests and interviews were completed and the position was offered. Unfortunately, I was unable to accept the position due to the offered. It was $10,000 less than I am currently making as a social worker for the State of California. Early in the process I was up-front about my salary requirements. The reason given by the Human Resources person was that my title at the state did not include the words social worker and therefore, I was not eligible for a salary higher than the VA starting level of $61,000. Where, in fact, I have over 15 years direct service practice, including experience from being a field CPS Social Worker to working at the state reviewing CPS cases. The work performed at the state is clearly social work as I was reviewing cases at the county level to ensure compliance of both state and federal requirements. If this is indeed your policy then how are you going to hire qualified people with experience and talent to work with veterans?

  2. Leondra Guinyard January 4, 2022 at 10:19 am

    I’m waiting on HR

Comments are closed.

More Stories

  • With investments in a diverse workforce and leadership, our sense of inclusion equals innovation for the Veterans we serve.

  • “Talk About It Tuesday” guests Lindsay Marth and F. Keith Bradley share their perspectives on what it means to come to VA and support Veterans.

  • Through the Medical Foster Home Program, caregivers can open their homes and their hearts to Veterans who need assistance with daily activities.